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Intel supplies Libya with 150,000 Classmates

By Stevie Smith Oct 31, 2007, 17:32 GMT

Intel supplies Libya with 150,000 Classmates

Libya orders 150,000 units of Intel Corporation\'s budget Classmate PC, which has been developed for children in developing nations. Credit: Intel.

Following on from the recent price jump and poor sales projections suffered by the One Laptop Per Child foundation’s XO computer, chipmaker Intel Corp. and software giant Microsoft have stepped into the budget laptop fray with the Libyan delivery of 150,000 Classmate computers.

More specifically, Intel has this week revealed that Libya’s education ministry placed its expansive order for the value Classmate hardware back in August of this year, with shipments starting in September.

"So far it’s going well," commented Intel spokeswoman Agnes Kwan in a Reuters interview regarding the progress of the Classmate. "We’re just a month into the deployment."

The $200 USD Classmate laptop, much like the OLPC’s collaborative XO (which now also costs $200 USD), is a budget computer built to bring modern technology and communication to children in developing nations.

Kwan outlined that Intel and Microsoft will not be subsidising the price of the laptops, while also choosing to opt out of revealing exactly how much the Libyan government will be paying for its order of 150,000 units. Kwan also said that California-based Intel Corp. has brought Nigeria on board as a Classmate customer, though the size of its order is not yet known.

The addition of Libya’s 150,000 units of the Classmate follows a significant order of 700,000 units placed by Pakistan’s Allama Iqbal Open University in April of 2007.

Intel’s Classmate PC (a.k.a. Eduwise) is an entry-level budget ‘subnotebook’ powered by the Celeron M mobile processor. It also comes equipped with a 7-inch LCD display screen (800 x 480), 2GB of Nand flash memory, 256MB of DDR2 RAM, Ethernet and WLAN 802.11b/g connectivity, and a 6-cell Lithium-Ion battery.

Unlike its rival XO laptop, the Classmate is capable of running either Windows XP or Linux operating systems.

The OLPC foundation’s XO laptop (which was initially called the "$100 laptop") has this week seen its $188 USD price tag jump to $200 USD. Also, the sales ambitions of the foundation’s chairman, Nicholas Negroponte, would appear to have taken a hit with current projections related to the XO suggesting it has so-far secured only 200,000 orders.

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